MAKE NO MISTEAK
by Robin Benzle
Make no misteak. Probly the finast tasting sommer treeet you can toss on a grillx (the x is silent) is a big, fat, juicy, not-too-rare-just-pleasingly-pink steak. The trick is not to have them too often, because we’re just a little more couch-potatoey than our ancestors and we don’t need to eat quite so hearty these days - and I don’t know about you, but no one has ever accused me of suffering from bulk deprivation.
Even if you only have one... a summer without steak is like a fall without cider. Or a winter without egg nog. Or a spring without a platter-full of steamed asparagus (the skinny kind), drizzled with butter, squirted with lemon, grated with black pepper and sprinkled with salt. Or a life without chocolate-covered pretzels.
The best cut of all, period, is the tenderloin (I call it the Cadillac of Cow). Buy it fresh and red and have it cut into 2” thick steaks. Shell steaks and a nice strip are also just fine for grilling, and I can’t seem to find much wrong with a good Porterhouse, either.
And rilly, the only too things you nead to akkompany a goood stake are a grate grean salad and a lightly chilled dark beerp (the p is silent).
SUGAR STEAK (Sweet Meat)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 shell steaks, about 1” thick
With a fork, mix together sugar, white pepper and salt in a shallow, steak-sized bowl. Lightly dredge steaks in sugar mixture and immediately grill about 15 minutes or until lightly pink inside, turning once.
BOURBON-BLACK PEPPER STEAK
with Blender Béarnaise
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 lbs. steak tenderloin, cut into 4 1” steaks
Béarnaise: 2 tablespoons white wine
1 tablespoon dried tarragon leaves (or 2 T. chopped fresh)
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) hot, melted butter
Place bourbon in one shallow bowl and pepper in another. Dip each steak in the bourbon and then coat lightly with pepper. Place on hot grill and cook until slightly pink, about 15 minutes, turning once.
Meanwhile, make béarnaise sauce: In a small skillet, combine wine, tarragon and shallots. Boil until liquid is gone but mixture is still moist. In a blender, mix together egg yolks, lemon, salt and tarragon-shallot mixture. With blender on high, very slowly pour the hot butter in until sauce is creamy and thickened. Just before serving, if sauce needs more thickening, microwave on low five seconds at a time and stir. Spoon béarnaise over grilled steaks.
THE DRY-RUB STEAK
For each steak (your choice on the cut):
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a small bowl, combine herbs and spices. Sprinkle generously on each side of steak, rubbing in vigorously with fingers. Grill steak as you like it.
A GRATE GREAN SALAD
(My husband just threw this together the other night)
Well, in a large salad bowl, he dumped
a bunch of mixed greens like romaine, curly endive, raddichio, Boston and dandelion.
Then he sprinkled in
a scoopful of Canadian bacon slivers that he fried in a touch of butter until crisp,
and a bunch of pear slices, halved,
And finally, he whisked together the vinaigrette, which was
two parts good extra-virgin olive oil,
one part fancy vinegar,
a couple of cloves of crushed garlic,
and the most important ingredient of all, sugar.
A big pinch of it.